Quality of public transport ranks as top priority, survey finds

‘Vital Signs’ report suggests people are most unhappy with housing

The report by Community Foundation for Ireland found public transport services were  a top priority, followed by the quality of education, walking, early childhood development, mobility and transport for older people, literacy levels and the affordability of everyday life. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The report by Community Foundation for Ireland found public transport services were a top priority, followed by the quality of education, walking, early childhood development, mobility and transport for older people, literacy levels and the affordability of everyday life. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 
Irish people prioritise the quality of public transport services above all else, are most unhappy with housing and property, and

place a relatively low value on religious and spiritual matters.

The findings, contained in the latest Vital Signs survey carried out by the philanthropic group Community Foundation for Ireland (CFI), provide a snapshot of the issues that affect the quality of life most in Ireland.

The report, based on a survey of 1,200 respondents, found people rated public transport services most important out of the 115 key social indicators presented.

It was followed by the quality of education, walking, early childhood development, mobility and transport for older people, literacy levels and the affordability of everyday life in Ireland.

Spiritual matters

Perhaps most surprising was the low ranking of religious and spiritual matters, which was rooted near the bottom of the priority rankings, along with private transport and congestion.

The importance of class sizes in schools, a source of much debate only a few years ago, was also lowly ranked despite the high priority placed on the quality of education.

The report, which is published every two years, graded 12 key areas which researchers deemed instrumental to the quality of life here.

The area that scored the lowest and decreased most from the previous survey in 2013 was housing.

The three priorities that people highlighted were the problem of homelessness, availability of rental housing and cost of renting.

Voice concerns

More than 1,000 individual comments were received from the public looking to voice their concerns in this area.

Conversely, the areas in Irish society which people were most happy with were arts and culture, and learning.

Overall, people awarded Ireland a C+ grade in terms of the quality of life it afforded citizens, which put the State on a par with Toronto in Canada but lower than the state of Victoria in Australia.

CFI chief executive Tina Roche said: “The better we understand our communities, the better equipped we are to make decisions and take action to improve them.”